The prospects of an e-cigarette tax became unclear this week when a second reading amendment turned HB 1444 (Taxation of Electronic Cigarettes), authored by Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville), into a summer study committee. The measure subsequently passed the full Senate 45-2. It appears senators chose to listen to those lobbying on behalf of the Juul vape product and convenience stores.

The bill’s author, Rep. Brown, dissented on the revised legislation and it now heads to conference committee. He has indicated a commitment to taxing e-cigarettes. The Chamber is pushing hard for that to take place this session.

Objectively speaking, e-cigarettes should be taxed on par with cigarettes and right now! Vaping has reached a crisis level in middle and high schools across the state, as educators and administrators testified to during the bill’s hearings. There is no need or time to study this issue, and we are urging the bill conferees to do the right thing and pass an actionable bill in 2019.

Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or email: mripley@indianachamber.com